mercredi 8 mai 2013
The Fascinating Life of Japan's Nine-Fingered Geisha
Teruha as a 14-year-old maiko called Chiyoha
The lives of geishas are wrapped in mystery. Here at EG, we’ve explored their world through incredible animated stereoviews and vintage postcards. Now, we take a more intimate look at one of the most celebrated, scandalous and enigmatic geishas of them all: Teruha. For reasons we will soon discover, Teruha is also known as “The Nine-Fingered Geisha.”
Teruha poses in a chrysanthemum-decorated kimono.
In the golden age of the geisha, the Meiji period (September 1868 to July 1912), geishas were the equivalent of today’s celebrities, models and actresses. Desired by men and envied by women for their lifestyle and fashions, they captivated all levels of society, icons of both physical beauty and Japanese culture.
Teruha taught herself how to read and write and authored many books.
While the wealthy could afford their company and performances, the less privileged had to make do with popular postcards featuring geishas in a variety of costumes and poses. Many of these postcards, like those shown here, featured the famous (and sometimes infamous) Teruha.